Do Motivational Programs Work?

If you’ve ever attended a motivational program or watched a motivational video, chances are you got a little contact high. I’m talking about that feeling of being energized and convinced that your life is about to change. This high is especially powerful in a room full of people who are feeling it to. It contagious…like the flu.


The best motivational speakers and coaches are experts at tapping into your desires. They possess an emotional intelligence that helps them to shifts people’s emotions and energy. I know from personal experience. I’ve sat in that audience right next to you; screaming my affirmations and waving my arms. It’s electrifying—and expensive.


While such programs (whether it’s a live event or video presentation) are great for inspiration and connection: turns out that most of us lose that “motivational high” in a matter of days or weeks. Some people leave the event and shift right back into their old mindset before making it home.


Why External Motivation Doesn’t Seem to Last

I’ve always wondered why such a powerful experience has such a short-term lifespan. Turns out there’s something more powerful than the temporary high: our programming. Yep, it appears our mental programming dictates most of our thoughts and behavior and is quick to overpower our new inspiration.


There are a couple of reasons why this happens. First, you must understand how your brain works. The things we habitual do, think, and say are our mental programs. They run on autopilot. When we get new information or have new exciting experiences, those programs temporarily stop. Only to be restarted when we return to the habitual behavior of our normal everyday experiences.


Secondly, when we are motivated by external factors like a speech or video, it doesn’t cause any long-term changes to the way we think. For it to make a difference, you’d have to practice and rehearse this new information until it becomes a part of your programming or habitual thinking.


This doesn’t mean you should stop reading self help books and delete those Tony Robbins’ videos. It’s wise to seek new information and advice from people who inspire you. I just want you to go into it with the understanding of how real change occurs. It takes time. And who wants to pay one-week’s worth of salary for one day of change?


For real lasting change, you’ve got to become your own motivation. Your mental programming is unique to you, so you’re the only one that can change it. The work is simple. Identify those things you do and say that prevent you from being your “ideal” self. Don’t put pressure to make drastic changes. Simple changes daily are the way to go. Become your own hype man. Make powerful statements. Dream. Be encouraging. In essence: discover the motivational coach in you!